BRUSSELS – A Belgian is seeking to have his marriage annulled after discovering that his Indonesian wife of 19 years had been born a man.
The man, only named as Jan, married Monica, his family’s former au pair in a previous marriage, in 1993 despite legal difficulties raised by the Belgian immigration authorities.
But it was only in recent weeks that he discovered that his wife had originally been a man and had undergone a sex change.
“I feel I’ve been assaulted,” he told the Het Nieuwsblad newspaper.
“I brought her to Belgium. That was not easy. The Belgian courts had serious doubts about the authenticity of her birth and her identity papers, but eventually they accepted it anyway. I thought she was an attractive woman, all woman. She had no male traits.”
Jan, 64, said that he and his wife had decided not to have children because he had two by his previous marriage and she fooled him by pretending to menstruate, using sanitary towels, “to conceal the truth”.
“Even during sex, I never noticed anything,” he said.
For many years the couple lived a normal family life and Monica, 48, was like a “big sister” to his children until their marriage started to come under strain when she got a new full-time job.
“Monica began to change very much,” he said.